Angelo Merendino Photography
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Algebra Tea House

Algebra Tea House

"I was born into Islam, but I saw the beauty of Islam in the United States," says Ayman.

In his youth, his parents were not practicing Muslims. "At that time, in the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of the Arab world started following the West. They started believing in secular religion and the division between church and state. A lot of them took on the thinking that they had to leave Islam, and Islam is backward."

But Ayman had started to grow restless with his lifestyle. "I was living, you know, drinking and other stuff and being in the arts, but I needed to find myself. After you accomplish certain things in your life, like I wanted to be an artist, so I became an artist; I wanted to have a couple of write-ups in the newspapers and have recognition, I have that; I wanted to make a little bit of money and I made it; OK, what's next? These are my worldly desires and I got those. Of course there is room for growth, but what is next? There has to be something more."

Excerpt from story originally posted at AlJazeera.com:

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